- File photo
On Feb. 5, El Paso County Sheriff's Detective Micah Flick lost his life in a shooting incident with a criminal suspect who also was killed in the hail of gunfire. That same incident left bystander Thomas Villanueva Jr. paralyzed after a bullet entered his shoulder and struck his spinal cord. He was caught in the crossfire as he walked through a parking lot at the Murray Hill Apartments.
At the time, Sheriff Bill Elder said an "innocent bystander" was in the "wrong place at the wrong time," KKTV reported, when gunfire erupted during an operation that involved the Colorado Springs Police Department and El Paso County Sheriff's Office.
In a March 20 notice of claim to the city and county, Villanueva's attorney, Russell Araya of Wheat Ridge, said the gunfire caused his client "to suffer serious physical injuries requiring hospitalization and surgeries." It hasn't been revealed who fired the shot that injured Villanueva, who's seeking damages in excess of $1 million.
KKTV also reported Villanueva has been moved to Craig Hospital, a rehabilitation hospital in Denver that specializes in spinal cord injuries.